Let's Put Our Emotions in Motion
This is a hard one... processing through emotions is something that we as a society don't really do anymore. We hold on to what we are feeling, we push it down, and we hide. In turn, those emotions are held in the body and can actually manifest in negative ways throughout the body. So what should we do with our emotions when society tells us that showing emotion and processing through feelings is weak?
In my opinion, we tell society to back off just like we are saying back off to them for body shaming! NO. MORE. EMOTION. SHAMING! Why does it even matter? Well, there are actual health risks to holding on to your emotions. Like I mentioned above, those emotions that you are pushing back inside are still very real emotions that have to resolve somehow so they can manifest in forms like diarrhea and nausea or in more serious forms like heart disease and some cancers. Harvard School of Public Health and the University of Rochester did a study that links suppressing emotions to increased risk of dying from heart disease and certain forms of cancer.
On the flip side processing through and letting our feelings and emotions out can have a positive effect on our health specifically our mental health! There is actually a lot of research being done on this topic and some research has found that processing through your emotions can actually strengthen your immune cells! Not only that but it also helps relieve stress, anxiety, and resolve issues. In a society that focuses on efficiency and is determined that emotions inhibit our efficiency that research is proving that we could actually be more efficient if we processed through our emotions! Weird, huh?
So maybe I've convinced you that you need to process through some things, but you have no idea where to begin. Below are some ways that you can get started on this journey to better health, relationships, and stress management.
Write it out! Begin journaling either at night before bed or in the morning when you wake up. Test out both ways and see which one works best for you! When you are writing make sure that you aren't holding onto any judgements - be as authentic and deep as possible. This is for your eyes only unless you decide to share with someone so no need to hold back!
Go on a walk and think about what you need to do for yourself to process through any emotions you are feeling. Do you need to talk it through with a friend? Do you need to tell someone how they are making you feel? Do you need to have a girls night and just let the tears flow? Figure out what you need and do it!
Know that it is okay to cry - it is actually healthy. Cry! Scream into a pillow! Scream into nature! Dance! Whatever you need to do is totally okay!
**This isn't just about negative emotions - it is just as important to let our happy emotions out and experience all of the joy that those bring. Dancing is such a fun way to process happy emotions! Ever heard dance like no one is watching? Actually try it... best feeling ever!
Now go enjoy your new found emotional freedom.